For Now

In the never ending story that is my life, we’ll call this chapter “the time everything absolutely fucking sucked.”

I’ll keep the major details to myself, as there are a great many things that I still choose not to share with the internet, but trust me when I say this week absolutely fucking sucks. Because it sucks, I’m seriously contemplating functional alcoholism (despite the fact that I rarely drink), or maybe full Brie Mode (for those of you that don’t watch Total Divas, click here for the definition of Brie Mode).

Despite the fact that I have the most amazing friends back home, sometimes I feel like I can’t talk to anyone, because they all tell me “you’re so strong, you’re Superwoman.” I want to be a superhero, and that bad ass woman they all tell me that I am, but am I? I don’t feel very super. I feel more like “pitifully average human who is drowning under the pressure to be a good mom and a good writer and a good employee and a good Crossfitter and pay bills while still looking pretty and maintaining a social life, despite having one friend that isn’t a coworker.” Being a one woman operation is tough kids.

We live in a FB filtered world; no one wants to admit that their life isn’t perfect and maybe they aren’t the superhero that their inner circle thinks that they are. No one wants to admit that they sometimes think they’re a shitty parent or looks at their bank statement, which is currently negative $36 and wonders how Xmas will be wonderful when cheerleading fees need to be paid and the gas bill is due and one kid needs new glasses and another has a field trip & it all costs money. No one wants to admit that sometimes they just want a night off from trying to be the best and just go out with friends, but since you don’t really have any, it’s hard to go places (sometimes I feel like I’m in the ninth grade again, where I wonder if people actually like me, or if they just want me to help them with the grownup equivalent of helping them with their English homework). No one ever admits that they feel like their very personality is somehow deficient, and you are somehow too weird or annoying for people to actually like, so you feel like you can’t really be yourself around anyone. These are things we just don’t do. Instead, everything is perfect. Everything is fine. Life is awesome.

In my life, everyone is counting on me to be so damned inspirational. Spoiler alert: I’m not inspiring; Beyoncé is inspiring. I’m just me. I’m a mostly unimportant writer and kind of okay assistant cell phone manager who talks too much.

Sometimes I wonder why it’s not socially acceptable to admit you’re not killing it at life right now. That maybe you’re lonely, or stressed out, or you just don’t really feel very good about yourself. Wouldn’t it be so nice to be able to say “I hate literally everything. You ever felt like that?” And someone relate to that? Maybe then we wouldn’t feel like it’s somehow not okay to have moments of self doubt, or sad, or stressed. Instead, we push ourselves to be the superhero we’ve made ourselves out to be and you don’t want to let anyone down. I think it’s harder for women, because we’re taught at an early age that we’re in competition with each other to be the prettiest and the smartest, meeting all of the Game of Life checkpoints while also never getting angry, or feeling less than confident, and God forbid you aren’t a size six! So, we all kind of compete for the best highlight reel and you can’t really live up to the hype.

Sorry guys, I’m not Wonder Woman. I’m just little old me; a plain, boring human who struggles with self esteem and time management, and sometimes is overwhelmed by the enormity of her responsibilities. I’m actually not sorry. If I’m going to be some inspirational ray of fucking sunshine, I need to be an authentic human being. Authentic human beings sometimes hate everything and feel like they suck at everything and look to someone they think has their shit together and goes “man, I wish I had my shit together and was half as awesome as they are.” I look at another manager in my company and wish I was half as cool as she was! She doesn’t care what people think; she just does her thing. She doesn’t second guess every word or thought, hoping she didn’t do something wrong by being herself. She just slays. Who knows? Maybe she gets days where she feels like I do too and looks to someone else to inspire them. Maybe it’s Beyoncé. Who knows?

So, if you ever feel like that, let me be the first to tell you it’s totally okay. Humans are not meant to live by the standards of social media. Humans are messy, complicated beings who sometimes aren’t happy. So, embrace those moments where you feel like the world is crushing you. Allow yourself to feel it, so you can get back up again. It’s okay to feel down; it’s just not okay to stay there, not even for me. In order to be on top, sometimes you’ve got to slide back down a bit. Since I’m feeling down, there is nowhere else to go but up! So, I’ll focus all of my energy on accomplishing all of the things that I’ve set my mind to…

…if not, there’s always functional alcoholism, right?! Brieeeeee Mooooodeeee!

Learn to Let Go

Oh, hai. 

I know, I kind of fell off of the planet for a bit. It happens. I know, I fell off of social media (outside of fitness stuff & the odd kids pic on my private accounts) too. I kind of died. I won’t lie; I’m really tired. I’ve been working six days a week until now, and I’ve been dead on my feet. 

Accurate depiction of my life the last three weeks
 Fortunately, I only have three shifts left! Them imma get on a plane because I’m on vacation bitches!

This girl is headed home to drop off the littles for their annual “force their dad to be a dad for two weeks by dropping off the kids and saying ‘these are yours. Act like it,'” trip. I’m only staying a week though. I’ll be catching up with my favourite humans (and getting a bunch of tattoos) and coming back home…alone, after some much needed R&R (I’ll also be jet lagged af, so anyone who wants to meet me at the airport is welcome hahaha). After a gruelling schedule, it’ll be nice to unwind, veg out, and catch up with friends. And while I love my kids and being a hands on mom, having a week to myself will be kind of nice too. But just one week. They’ll be back before school starts. 


It’s been kind of nice to take a break from social media, personal writing, etc. to recharge & refocus. Between my full time job and my freelance writing, I’ve been busy and tired. But my professional writing is improving more every time I submit something and I’m really proud of that (don’t believe me? Check out this article I wrote about my friend Carrie! It’s pretty freaking good if I do say so myself). My performance at my day job is improving too! I’ve hit my YEG stride and it’s great. I’ve made great friends. My coworkers are rad. My summer pretty much rocks. I went on a date with a cute boy & I may go out with him again.  I saw Ed Sheeran and Lady Gaga in the span of a week. I’ve worked a million hours, but still found time to hit a deadlift PR. I’ve been focusing on the writing that makes me money, because who doesn’t love money! 


I think sometimes it’s nice to decompress from the world of social media, and for me, my blog. I like to live my life more and talk about it less. Not to mention a little mystery is nice. Let people miss me for awhile while I do my own thing. If you want to know what’s up, you can call or text (unless you’re one of the 40 people who’s numbers are blocked) & say hi. If not, then you probably don’t miss me that much. It’s one of those superficial “I miss you! We should meet up soon!” when we have no intention of meeting up soon. They’ll say they miss me all over social media, then shit talk me at a party. I have no patience for that kind of bullshit in my life. If you want to criticize my life; I’ll be more than happy to send you a few of my bills that you can pay. If you want to be around me, you’d be there. The end. 


I’m so over the fake happy social media lives and the fake friends who only message on your birthday, or talk about their #perfect lives for the likes. I use social media to interact with people. One thing I’ll stress always on this blog and online is that I am not perfect. My house can be a mess. I don’t stick to my diet. Like, I went to crossfit and ate and entire bag of Doritos while watching the Grudge. My kids don’t always behave. But I do always talk about evolution & growth. Besides, you don’t have to be #perfect to be happy. My life is imperfectly happy, and to me, happy matters so much more than #perfect. If I have to choose between being a #perfect mom, #perfect human, or a happy one with happy kids, I’ll choose happy every damn time. 


‪Part of my happiness is meeting up with my friends.  For those that know me, as much as I love/hate social media, I do love live travel tweeting. If you wanna follow along, feel free to follow me on the Twitter (unless I blocked you on Twitter, then you can go fuck yourself). I tend to live tweet my travels. Sometimes it’s funny, I guess. As for me, I’ll be enjoying the people who make as much time for me as I do for them, while also inking up my skin, because I can, mostly because I choose happy over cookie cutter, boring, and oh so #perfect. 

Raised On It

So, anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been reading about the Ashley Madison hack and I find it completely hilarious.

I’m not one to revel in the misfortunes of others, but watching guys like Josh Duggar, who for years have tried to make LGBT families, divorcees and anyone who doesn’t fit into their traditional mold of marriage feel like they are somehow deficient try to squirm their way out of this makes me giggle. Watching them try to blame Satan for their hypocrisy warms the cockles of my tiny black heart.

IMG_1479

However, the fall of the Ashley Madison website brings me a personal joy for a more personal reason. During my year as a newlywed, my former husband & I had a million and one problems, most of which stemmed from the fact that we were far too young and not ready to be married. But he worked midnights and my roommate and good friend had discovered that this website was real. So, we looked it up and were horrified at the number of people we knew that were on this site trolling for affairs, one of which was my ex husband. In the infancy of our marriage, maybe even before we had said our I do’s, had been looking for an affair. I chose to stay with him for the next seven years, and I’m glad I did as we later had two beautiful children, but the shock and betrayal stayed with me, as our marriage was marred by a lack of trust, which was pretty valid as he cheated on me pretty much all the time. After our first year of marriage, I discovered that the weekend he sent me to visit friends in our hometown was so he could meet a friend in a hotel for a tryst. About two years ago, he admitted to me (while heavily drunk) that he had slept with the stripper next door. I received an email from his former friend’s wife confirming they had been sleeping together while I was pregnant and on bedrest with our second child. And he was once banned from working as a photographer at two separate bars in our old hometown for sexually harrassing the staff. These all stuck with me for years, negatively impacting my future relationship. I would remember the female friends who weren’t platonic friends, the comments about how if he didn’t think I’d get mad, he would be trying to get with our female friends, or the time he propositioned my best friend to have a three way with him and our friend Sarah. It bothered me so much that I didn’t know how to trust a man who said he loved me and it took three years of therapy to feel okay and accept that not every man on Earth was out to hurt me or cheat on me.

I sent an email to the creator of Ashley Madison and blasted them for providing this service. I asked them how could they sleep at night knowing that they were making it easier to break the hearts of so many trusting souls. The reply I got was that maybe I should have been a better wife and lover, and my husband wouldn’t have wanted to stray, a sentiment he would tell me when I would put him on blast for his flirting, or whatever I caught him doing (that he would always say was misunderstood, or he was misunderstood, because he was the victim and why wouldn’t I just do *insert sex act here* and he wouldn’t have to want to cheat?).

This is why I laugh when I see the cheaters on Ashley Madison squirming and crying about their privacy.

IMG_1387

I feel for the victims, and by victims, I mean the actual victims. The spouses who used the tool on Wired and got the unfortunate surprise of “Guess who’s email address was compromised?!” or the stammering conversations where they explain their behaviour. I don’t feel the tiniest bit badly for the “victims” who’s privacy was breached. Oh, I know the dark side, this could happen to anyone and boo hoo and credit cards aren’t secure and the like. But a bunch of horrible people are going to be exposed for betraying their spouses and I’m glad. I hope they feel violated and like their integrity is compromised and awful. You know, the way their spouses have felt for months when they have suspected for months that their partner was cheating, or when they found out the truth.

IMG_1480

I have had a few friends who have said to me that since I was a staunch defender of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence when they had their private photos leaked online last year, I should take the same stance on this. I disagree. There is a big difference between private photos that were meant to be viewed by one person privately (such as Jennifer Lawrence’s photos for then partner Nicholas Hoult) and cheating on your mate. While yes, cheating isn’t illegal and having your credit card information compromised totally sucks, you were betraying your partner, and in the case of a guy like Josh Duggar, you were doing it while condemning other people for not living life according to a belief system that you yourself weren’t following. So, I don’t feel totally badly for these “victims,” just the people they have been victimizing, for having to learn that the person that they are with actually sucks in such a public way. Even if you didn’t pick anyone up on Ashley Madison, you had an account, the intent was there and you sir or madam are a raging douchebag. Your partner deserved a million times better and you should feel violated, because you are walking a mile in their shoes and I hope you wear them well.

  
Maybe I’m biased, because I know how it feels to find out that your spouse has an account with a website designed to help him cheat on you and I know how people like Anna Duggar feel. I hope Anna Duggar takes her kids and leaves him and finds happiness with a man who recognizes how beautiful and special she really is, but I doubt her religion will allow it. Ironically enough, her church will likely badger her with the same answer that Ashley Madison gave me and she will stay with her unfaithful husband. If she does, let’s not shame her or call her stupid. We are not walking in her shoes. We don’t know what her “church” has done to devalue her. But for all of those who are scrambling to “save” their marriage and blaming the Ashley Madison hack, I don’t feel one bit sorry for you, because you already destroyed your marriage when you strayed (or attempted to stray) from your partner; it’s just now everybody knows you were doing it.

  
And to those encouraging people not to check the list for their partner; I disagree (although I haven’t for reasons that make sense to me). Chances are, you won’t be shocked by the answer. My Texan bestie looked up her own email & hubby, even though she knew the answer just for the lolz. But most people who are checking are either;

a) bored like me or

b) confirming an answer they already knew subconsciously, an answer they have every right to know. 

That’s What You Get

I am starting to think that I am simply afraid to be happy.

I understand that all humans have a basic right to be happy. I am generally a happy person. I find ways to be happy even when everything is actually stupid. I pride myself on this. But when things play out in a way that makes me truly happy, I start to feel guilty, like do I deserve this? Is it fair that I’m so happy when other people aren’t, etc.?

I lead a very charmed existence. My life used to be very challenging & I’ve worked very hard to build myself in a way that I can be happy regardless of what’s happening in my beautiful life. I have been fortunate to have been blessed with three wonderful children. I have a talent I am passionate about and I’m growing as a writer every day. I’m building connections and career opportunities in my field and I’m super excited about that. My home is slowly becoming a lovely little house where I can raise my family. The girls love their new surroundings and like to chase the bunnies in the yard, they’ve already made friends their own age, and are always outside enjoying their new hometown. Business is even picking up at my day job, so I’m worrying less and less about money and focusing more on becoming a good manager and leader. You know, why I was hired in the first place. My friends back home are always supportive and my friends here are super fun. My girlfriend & I are setting up a playdate with her boys and my girls once the boys get home from camp. My frazzled nerves are often soothed by three words, sent by text message almost every day. They give me peace & security. I’m beautiful and smart and for the first time in my life, I don’t feel anxious and my self esteem doesn’t suck.

But I also find myself worrying that something is going to go terribly wrong. I find myself feeing increasingly sorry for the Dad, who seems to be miserable and that’s my fault. I know you could rationalize that if he wanted to see his kids, he would find a job here, or he would have actually spent time with them when he had them for the month, but I can’t help but feel badly that his life has gone so far downhill and mine seems pretty rad. Kids deserve two hands on parents and I keep hoping he’ll finally get it together and focus on being a good father for his children, but it never happens. And I just keep thinking that I’ve ruined his life somehow. I worry all of the things that are making me happy will suddenly be taken away and it won’t be here anymore. I hadn’t planned for certain developments, and now that they’re in play, it scares me that the other shoe will drop and it’ll go away & the thought scares me so much. I worry that maybe they prefer me as a zoo animal to be observed & watched than a woman to be loved & respected. I can see the girls are adjusting nicely, but I’m still worried that they won’t be happy or that I’m making choices that will impact them in a negative way, despite everything being positive. I also wonder WHY I feel badly that he’s miserable. If the shoe were on the other foot, he would revel in my misery. But I keep worrying that he won’t handle the transition okay, which causes me to distance myself from other aspects of my life so that I can try to help him adjust.

 

I understand all of these feelings are super normal. I understand that change is scary and letting people in is terrifying and trusting people is hard and people have free will and they choose to love you and they can choose to self destruct and there’s nothing you can do about it. I guess it’s all part of the adjustment; learning to trust your gut instincts (which currently tell me to relax and enjoy my life, it’s the overthinking that gets me) and learning to accept that feelings of self doubt and even fear are normal; especially when every other time you’ve been really happy, it seems to go away. You’ve just gotta remind yourself that it won’t go away. I’ll just continue to focus my efforts on raising my girls, self improvement, and most importantly, the written word. I apply for jobs I’m grossly underqualified for, just so I can get my name out there while I continue to work with my current magazines. I’ll continue to revel with my time with my girls. I’m doing every day crossfit, which means my body hurts like mother effer, but I’m feeling more like myself which means I’m much happier here. It finally feels like this is home. London never really felt like home. It felt like a stepping stone to someplace else. Maybe this was that someplace else? Or maybe this is a stepping stone to someplace else and in two years or so I’ll end up in BC working at some rural newspaper in some hick town, or I’ll actually go to the arctic. Who knows? All I know is I need to do what my Queen Taylor Swift says and “shake it off” and not allow guilt or feelings that the other shoe will drop spoil the happy life I’m building.

But it’s easier said than done & it’s something I need to work on to help me be a more confident person. But as we slowly adjust into a comfortable routine here, and as time passes, it’ll be easier for me to settle into my comfortable place & just be happy.   

Wait For Me

My house is oddly quiet, except for the prattling of the not so angry teen who is currently enjoying a warm reunion with…her clothing.

My children are home and my heart is full. I can’t remember the last time I have been this happy. I revel in my role as mom, I love being there for my children and raising them and spending my days with them. They’re my favourite people in the entire world and after 28 miserable ass days, they are finally home where they belong, although two of them have been fast asleep since they got home. But they’re resting and recouping after a long journey. Even the cat is happy.

Now we can focus on the adjustment period, where the girls adjust to the new time zone, the new house, etc. I wanted to do this during the summer so they have time to feel comfortable. I sort of flung myself into everything and ended up feeling overwhelmed and a huge emotional wreck. Fortunately, I had friends (home and away) that have been there or me, whether it’s FaceTime chats, or texts, or sobbing phone calls, or even just holding me and reminding me that everything will be fine and they’re right here beside me and they’re not going anywhere. I want my children to have an easier transition. So, I want them to have time to play at the park, learn their way around, enjoy the city, etc. Then we can add school and friends and life. Oh, but first, our audience with Queen Taylor.

Now, our lives in cow province can begin. I’m excited to build a comfortable routine with my daughters. Something where we can be happy and have adventures and enjoy our little existence. It’s going to be nice to have “our” lives again, not to mention it’ll be awesome for them to learn more about our country by living in more than just Southwestern Ontario. They’re excited for the next chapter of our lives and I’m excited too. I used to just be terrified, but the fact that they are here and I no longer have to worry about what’s happening with them makes it easier. I no longer have to wonder about if they’re around something questionable, are the caregivers drinking to excess, are people smoking near them, are they being kept up too late? Now we can go back to our happy life of tea parties, learning and adventures. I start back at the gym full time on Wednesday, so the girls will see a normal schedule again. All of these things are essential to helping them adjust, which is my primary focus right now.

Being reunited with my children makes it easier to focus on why we are here; to continue to build my career. I like my day job and I understand it’s essential, but I came out here for a full time gig. Rome isn’t built in a day, so it’s time to continue to focus on building that portfolio so I can get a permanent position…and learn to drive. You know, perfectly normal things. But I’m very thankful that I have even this sliver of opportunity to build my dream career. I went to school and worked hard and have continued to work hard to get this far. Now, I just need to keep working. Of course, part of that means I need to stop being so hesitant to consider a long term career in entertainment media. I know I want to write human interest stuff and stuff that I feel makes a difference, but I’m really good at music reviews, and editorials about pop culture. Maybe that’s what I’m meant to do? I guess I need to stop bucking the idea and just enjoy writing! Maybe I’ve been a bit of a snob and felt like pop culture wasn’t a long term career plan. Maybe I need to just focus on finding that solid writing job and let the rest fall into place. After all, I guess as long as one person is reading my drivel, it means I’m a success, right?

In the interim, I’m going to enjoy my life. I have always led a pretty charmed existence and each move I make seems to make it better. I have beautiful children, I’m making strides in my career, and I finally know what time it is. I’m blessed with wonderful people who love me. My house is looking pretty nice. Not a bad gig. And I’m going to enjoy watching it play out and see what wonderful things happen next.

  

This Is How We Roll

Because I don’t have time to meet people in the city (or ever), I have an online dating account.

I’ve had it for about six months now and I’m not going to lie; I never log into it except to reply to messages. My friend & I actually compete to see who can issue the funniest comeback to the biggest creeper. The fact that some of these guys think that these are the best first impressions crack me up. I’m sure if I talked to someone who seemed cool, I might change my mind, but I’ve learned that “Plenty of Fish” really means “Bottom of the Barrel.”

I have learned what I already knew, which was that the online thing likely doesn’t work for me, but it does provide me with countless minutes of entertainment, as well as my FB friends, as I often screencap the best ones and post them on my account. So, for your entertainment, I shall post some of the best ones, so you may also ask why any of these men thought these lines were a good idea.

pof1

pof2

pof3

pof4

pof5

Day 26: My Dream Wedding

I hate weddings.

Like, a lot.

I hate planning weddings.with the exception of the psych major’s wedding and my friend Sarah’s upcoming nups, I don’t really like attending weddings. I’m not big on standing up in weddings. I hate every little thing about weddings almost as much as I have no desire to ever remarry. I wasn’t terribly keen on it the first time & found my vow renewal to be a pain in the ass. The absolute WORST assignment I’ve ever been given was to go to a wedding show & review it by planning a wedding. My photographer was dying of laughter when the florist said “you look like you’d rather be shot.” Yup. I probably would have preferred it.

A photo from the wedding show...this is right before I texted people asking for help
A photo from the wedding show…this is right before I texted people asking for help

The most wedding planning I’ve ever done was a file on my computer while I Skyped a friend & mocked her Pinterest account & picked some wedding dresses and bridesmaids crap & some flowers for my future wedding (as it was planned I would be announcing my engagement on my birthday & we had half seriously picked a wedding date) & nearly puked. Then, some kind hearted person booked an appointment for me (on my birthday) with the dress @ a bridal shoppe with all of those details; my tentative wedding date, my “fiancé’s” info, the dress I had picked, the bridesmaids dresses, all ready to go. My relationship ended 18 days before. I have never cried harder than after that phone call where the wedding store associate was excitedly congratulating me on my engagement, and ON MY BIRTHDAY and why didn’t I come in to try on the dresses?! The Gleason Table called to wish me a happy birthday only to hear my heartbroken sobs. To that person, you are mean & you suck. But even then, when I was happy about wanting to spend my life with a person, the idea of a wedding made me kind of want to barf. Personally, as I said to the guy when he brought up marriage the first time (Because he brought it up often & even spent one night picking tentative wedding dates) if a man could be content with us being engaged forever, I’d be thrilled. It’s not the commitment that scares me, or the life (well, it would now); it’s the idea of being MARRIED. Getting married AGAIN so people can quietly judge me from their seats. I tried being married and it failed and I’m afraid to do it again. Having people cluck their tongues while saying “oh, you’re getting married…again?” and worried about them disapproving. I felt self conscious that people would wonder how I thought this marriage would work when the first one didn’t. I worried my lack of enthusiasm would dampen his desire for the big party. I’d have to plan a wedding where everyone fights and bridesmaids feel entitled and all of the guests make demands and you spend a bunch of money that you could have used to buy a house and by the end you just want it all to go away. It’s not about the couple or the commitment, it’s all “Ew. Why those colours? Why that bridesmaid? Why that dress?” While I buy food & drink for relatives I never see & don’t terribly like. Blah.

But I digress.

My dream wedding sucks. There is no dress. There is no party. There is no engagement. There is nothing. There is me & my partner & some chapel that specializes in elopement. There is no one we know, except maybe my daughters. There is just us, the celebrant, and the witnesses they provide. We’ll tell people when we’re ready; or on Facebook with a status update. Whatever.

I think a marriage is two people. I get sharing that moment, but from years of over sharing when I’m happy or confiding in the wrong people, I’ve learned to be more cautious…as I write on my blog for strangers to read & people I know to dissect. But, even when I’m in a relationship, I keep my relationship posts high level or I comment on why they’re great, etc. I will share with my besties but I’m still a girl. I guess I want to keep that moment between us, our moment. A friend of mine reminded me that even my high school dream wedding was to elope. I remember when my marriage was failing, all of my family and friends mentioned they were at my wedding and therefore, they had the best advice for me. I learned from going to people for advice when my last relationship was ending that people can not always be trusted. I would confide in them and they would turn right around and I learned later that there was no confidence, my private feelings were being exploited & twisted like telephone. The judgey people when planning the wedding. The nosy in laws. I would think about what part of all of my past relationships made me happiest, and it was when it was just the two of us. If I did choose to get married again, I would want to be comfortable. I wouldn’t be comfortable @ a big party. I would want it to be just us, so I could get through my jumbled nerves, and spit out what I would want to say in my vows without a million people boring holes in me, placing bets on how long it would last. I would want my partner beside me, and that’s it, because the only person who needs to know what kind of wife I intend to be is him.

I’ll never be Bridezilla; I don’t want to be a fairy princess. I want the man I’m committing my life to by my side while we promise to be partners for life. No one else needs to be there to make that promise any less meaningful.

Day 25: What I’m Looking Foward To

My new house!

20140215-105740.jpg

I am so excited to start my life over in my shiny new house. I’ve been working on becoming a neater, more organized person & I intend to keep my new house immaculate. My whole life right now is parenting, work, picking out new furniture, paint swatches, & packing! 64 days will just fly by!

Someone help me pick a couch. I'm stuck
Someone help me pick a couch. I’m stuck

The girls & I need this. We should have done it post divorce. We need a clean break with this city. I need media opportunities. They need a better neighbourhood with better friends & fewer bad influences. All of these things are going to happen for us & I see nothing but positive changes on the horizon. So, I’m going to continue to work towards this goal & I can’t wait to finish painting & moving in (another exercise motivator: getting my piano up those stairs!) & settling in to my new place, picked out by me, painted in colours I picked & enjoying my home.

20140215-110333.jpg

I’m enjoying the decision making that goes with moving; choosing paint, colour schemes, and even my cable provider. I’m so excited to be making these choices for my family and the thought of making new friends, meeting new coworkers, (although I’ll miss my Target team) and the joy of welcoming friends into my new home. Not to mention the excitement of applying to new magazines! I can’t wait for a byline again! I’m just so excited and I cannot wait.

20140217-082553.jpg

Day Eight: Where I’ve Been…& Where I’d Like to Go

I must confess; I’m not a seasoned traveller.

I went to Vermont with my foster family when I was 15 years old & gained 10lbs eating Ben & Jerry’s. I went to Tim Horton’s Camp as a child & broke my arm & ended up with a lovely scar. But, my favourite place on that short list is Ontario Pioneer Camp.

The first time I told my foster parents that I loved them & referred to them as my family was when I left for my first trip to Girls’ Camp. It was so easy there. It was easy to be Christian; everyone was. There were no cliques. Everyone was a friend. No one disliked anyone, we all loved each other & wanted to serve God. When I became a counsellor, I loved my little campers. I loved to teach them about life, God & how to sail. Sailing was my passion there; I loved my little boats & everything about them & sometimes, when everyone was asleep, I’d sneak down to my beloved sailboats & enjoy the beauty of the lake. I loved the place so much, that I took the name of it for my eldest daughter. It was a place of peace & joy; two traits I wanted her to have (& she does…most of the time).

20140208-001338.jpg

But the one place I’ve always wanted to go is New Orleans. I want to go to the French Quarter, walk the old streets. I want to go to the Lestat cafe (if it’s still open) & stay in a big old hotel. I want to go to jazz clubs & old graveyards. When I got married, we were supposed to go there for our honeymoon but finances prevented it. But, I still want to go there so badly…just not during Mardi Gras.

20140208-001659.jpg

Of course, I also have to go to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. My youngest daughter LOVES football. She’s a little stat quoting analyst who watches NFL AM like it’s church. Once a month I take each girl out for a day of fun and she chose to eat chicken wings and watch her team, the Saints (she also got into a very heated debate with an elderly man which ended in her saying “Mr. Man, stats can’t wie! My team is better!”). Since football is a big interest for her, it’s my job as her mother to understand & embrace her interest (well, I try. She rolls her eyes a lot & explains things many times. I feel it’s payback for the number of times I repeat ” put your backpack away”), so if I ever make it to New Orleans, we’ll be cheering Drew Brees & the Saints to victory, while she’s decked out in her official Saints cheerleading uniform.

20140208-002204.jpg

Speaking of understanding your child’s interests; the sometimes angry tween has begged me to take her to New Orleans all year. Of course, it’s not for the scenery, or the history, or anything like that. She wanted to go to Wrestlemania XXX, to see her idol, Divas Champion AJ Lee.

20140208-002454.jpg

I would like to travel to many places, but NOLA is at the top of my list. I hope to get there someday, whether it’s on my own, as part of my “dream wedding” (more on that later) or to take the tiniest princess to see her “boys,” I know I’ll get there someday.

Walking on Air

When my ex husband & I split up, I deleted all of his family from social media.

I had to block a few of them for referring to me as a “slut” when I moved on, but I always kept one cousin and a maternal aunt on my Facebook, mainly because they kept their opinions to themselves & focused on my photos of my girls. I now have a paternal uncle as well, mainly because I have tremendous respect for his political opinions (even if I don’t always agree).

The cousin has grown from a quirky teen in love with boy bands & devoted to the Red Wings into a beautiful wife (who is devoted to the Red Wings) & woman who is loyal to her friends, her family & most of all her husband. She LOVES her husband. Worships him. Her husband is her whole life. She can’t wait to start her family with him & 85% of her status updates are about her pride & love for a man who took a job that keeps him from home to support them.

…cue the haters.

She’s constantly called immature, childish, love should be private, etc. I used to talk more openly about my love life on Twitter, gushing when someone did something great, but I was still fairly private about the ins and outs. My blog is high level (sometimes). I’m not the super open person, call my girlfriends to over share about our sex life, kind of gal. But I will admit, I LOVE her shmoopy status updates. Why? Because she’s happy.

She’s a happy woman! She’s in love! She’s a newlywed! She wants to shout from the rooftops that she is over the moon happy about her marriage, her husband & his sacrifices for their family. Yes, you may want to puke in your mouth or it may not be how you live your life, but to belittle a woman for being happy proves what a miserable sad sack you are.

Another fine example is one of my dearest friends. She’s getting married in July to the love of her life. I was privileged enough to attend their engagement celebration last night & her Facebook & IG was littered with comments about her happiness, friends, family & the man who is to be her husband. Every one made me smile. She’s a beautiful person, inside & out & her fiancé is a warm & loving man, devoted to his bride to be. I wish for this for myself someday. But my heart burst with joy as my dear friend revelled in her happiness. Revel with her.

Whether you’ve been married for 10 minutes or 10 years, if it’s healthy, you’re going to sometimes want to gush about your mate. The Texan STILL gushes about her husband the Dentist once a week, because even though it’s been over 10 years, she’s in love like a Newlywed. It’s amazing; not immature.

If it’s not your thing, then do things your way. But if you can’t say something nice about someone saying someone nice, then say nothing at all. The comment box is a suggestion, not mandatory. Spread your misery on your own social networking & let others spread joy on theirs.